March 20, 2015

RDM – The Waverider Task

The first day in class we were given a brief and were required to make a location decision in a matter of minutes. After three days of knowledge bombardment it was up to us to turn our intuitive decisions in to educated decisions. Armed with an arsenal of tools the group set out to decide the most relevant tools and to apply them on the data provided to remove all biases and to back our decisions with rationale. What we came up with was a combination of qualitative and quantitative tools to produce impartiality. Not only did we do that, we made the process of decision making robust by using our knowledge to eliminate groupthink.


What this demonstrated was that no matter which form of leadership was adhered to, the aim of robust decision making in itself served a much bigger purpose. It eliminated groupthink, ensured equal participation, and included all perspectives and points of view. This strengthened good leadership and group efforts and at the same time minimised and made ineffective all negative aspects that came with the task at hand.


It all started by reaching a consensus on the decision of tools to be used. To make the decision of whether to continue with the prototype or not, the tool used was the decision tree. All cash flows were mapped out in accordance with the various probabilities of different potential situations and the outcome was to continue with work on the prototype. The decision tree, being a quantitative tool, also substantiated the results from the qualitative tools used to decide the location for production of the sea catch. The qualitative tools used were the grid analysis and the comparative SWOT analysis. The decision reached from these tools was to establish our production site at Lymington. The cash flows and optimum decision reached by the decision tree backed this decision.


After the decisions of continuing with the prototype and setting up production at Lymington, the last decision to be made was that of the tools to be used for marketing. The tools available for marketing were the usual; internet, TV, magazines and newspapers, flyers and handouts, billboards and radio. After assigning weights to the benefits provided by the tools, the extent of those benefits was measure using tools such as the analytical hierarchy process and SMART. Though the results from these two tools varied a bit in proportions of priority, mainly the result was the same. As pointed out by the SMART analysis, the most cost effective mix of tools included the internet, billboards and flyers. The cost per impressions and conversion rates were taken into account by these tools and in the AHP, the option using TV was also dominant. Though everything seemed fine and dandy, it was later pointed out that the obvious options left out were radio and newspapers, a form of entertainment that fishermen mostly use while fishing. This was probably because of the fact that the quantitative tools had lacked qualitative criticality. It can also be said that the tools left out could be attributed to selection bias.


At the end though there were some loopholes in the process, it can be confidently said that the decisions made were highly robust, if not fully.


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